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Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:18 am
UPDATE ... 17TH AUGUST 2007 ... 1115 BST
Dean's eye is right in between Martinique and St Lucia. These 2 Islands will be receiving a good pounding as the Hurricane force wind band extends 25 miles out from the eye.
The only good news for these islands is that Dean is moving very quickly and has not gained much more strength. The Hurricane has stayed at Category 2.
There were some heavy showers affecting Tobago last night but no real prolonged rainfall of note as the outer bands of Dean swirled round to the east and north of the Hurricane.
However the outer bands are very close and Tobago could yet get some heavy rainfall at any time in the next 12 hours.
Dean is going to strengthen and could be a devastating Category 4 or even 5 Hurricane and Jamaica, the Caymans and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico need to prepare for trouble in the next few days.
Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:31 am
UPDATE ... 18TH AUGUST 2007 ... 0930
As expected, Dean has quickly developed into a deadly Category 4 Hurricane having moved into the warmer Caribbean Sea.
Jamica is in the direct path of Dean and I expect the Hurricane to reach Category 5 before it reaches Jamaica ... the implications for this island are potentially catastrophic if it is not fully prepared.
The long tail end of Dean is dropping heavy rain as far south as Trinidad. Tobago is just on the edge of this weather.
Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:44 am
UPDATE ... 19TH AUGUST 2007 ... 1145 BST
Hurricane Dean is on his way to Jamaica and could easily reach Category 5 before affecting the island.
The only issue I have with Dean is whether he crosses the Yucatan Peninsula and for how long he will be over the mainland.
The further north he tracks the less time will be spent over land and the more powerful he will be ... Texas and Mexico will need to watch this.
Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:10 pm
UPDATE ... 20TH AUGUST 2007 ... 0015 BST
Hurricane Dean is now pounding Jamaica and his eye is running along the south coast of the island.
This will bring a combination of storm surge and heavy rain (flooding) and need I mention the winds?
If Dean had directly hit Jamaica then there would have been a little weakening which would have been beneficial to the Caymans ... next in the line of attack.
But he has not and this is a matter of choosing your poison ... does Jamaica take the load like that or does cheeky Dean run to the south and maintain his strength ... why not hammer the Caymans as well? ... nasty Dean ... think about this before naming your children ... they won't be in Jamaica.
The next dilemma is whether or not Dean crosses the Yucatan Peninsula ... the point is that Dean would weaken if he does but strengthen if he does not and then become a major pain in the arse in the Gulf.
The prediction models take Dean over the Peninsula ... this would weaken Dean and he would finally finish up in Mexico as a weaker Hurricane.
I sense a more northerly direction with a shorter period over the Peninsula ... again this is choosing which poison ... this could take Dean into Texas as a major Hurricane.
Dean wins whatever happens ... there is much devastation ahead and I hope my senses are wrong.
Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:41 pm
HURRICANE DEAN AND TOBAGO TROPICAL WAVE
UPDATE ... 20TH AUGUST 2007 ... 1830 BST
Dean is not following my senses and is heading towards the Yucatan pensinsula.
He should reach Category 5 status before landfall and the eye is not expected to hit any highly populated areas ... but with a very wide band of hurricane strength winds many resorts, such as Cancun could suffer. Also Belize to the south will have Tropical Storm strength winds at the very least ... not to mention the very heavy rain.
Landfall will induce weakening and then restrengthening in the Gulf of Mexico before another part of Mexico has a taste but I doubt if Dean will regain Category 5 strength after crossing the pensinsula.
Meanwhile ... back in Tobago ... another weather event is unfolding as a very strong Tropical Wave passes through.
Heavy rain is already falling steadily and this could persist overnight and into tomorrow ... more sinister developments seem likely to the north and particularly as the Wave moves into the Caribbean Sea.
Watch out for some possible flooding, thunderstorms and there could be some gusty winds.
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:09 pm
HURRICANE DEAN UPDATE
Dean almost completely lost his Hurricane status over the Yucatan Pensinsula but he is re-strengthening and may just make it to Category 2 before landfall in Mexico again on the other side.
Meanwhile a Tropical Wave is bringing some thunderstorms to Tobago in the next few hours.
Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:23 pm
Been biting my tongue over this one for the last couple of days.
There are 4 potential areas of Tropical Storm development ... 2 off the US eastern coast that are likely to merge into one but pose little threat to land other than Bermuda.
Another one is forming off the coast of Mexico and producing plenty of rain.
The one I am watching is about 500 - 600 miles east of Tobago ... this looks likely to develop into a Tropical Depression tomorrow and possibly reach Tropical Storm status by Saturday as it tracks just to the north of Tobago and south of Barbados.
Tobago needs to watch this one because the southern side of the circulation is producing the heaviest rainfall while the northern side appears to be struggling with dry saharan dust.
There is a strong risk of heavy rain for Tobago this weekend.
Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:38 am
DEPRESSION 94L UPDATE
This small circulation is looking like it is developing and, as I predicted yesterday, it should be classed as a Tropical Depression later today.
I note that measurements of this system are to be taken by an aircraft being sent in by the NOAA.
The track does not appear to have changed much from my previous prediction but the rainclouds are to the south of the system and I sense these will pass over both Trinidad and Tobago by Friday night and into Saturday.
The winds should be quite strong and gusty in places but it is the very heavy rain that I believe could bring prospects of flash flooding in the rurals areas of Tobago.
I will post an update later today.
Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:39 pm
DEPRESSION 94L ... POSSIBLE TROPICAL DEPRESSION / STORM TO AFFECT TOBAGO THIS AFTERNOON (LOCAL TIME)
Tobago has already had a few heavy showers this morning from the outer bands of this system that I believe is already a Tropical Depression.
Whilst the weather stations seem to be asleep I have become increasingly concerned about the more southerly direction and increasing speed this circulation is taking and of particular concern are the new bursts of convection (very intense rain) and thunderstorms that have formed around an increasingly apparent centre in the last few hours.
This is a developing Tropical Depression and possibly this will become a Tropical Storm in the next 48 hours.
The heavy rain from this system will begin to affect Tobago around lunchtime onwards and Trinidad from mid-afternoon onwards (local time) in about 3 hours after this post.
Expect some strong winds (up to about 50 mph) with stronger gusts and very intense rain.
I would strongly advise against any sailing trips today.
The weather should then improve from Saturday morning.
Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:40 pm
TROPICAL STORM FELIX
It seems that the Storm warnings were issued just as Felix arrived with his centre passing just to the north of Tobago and he was officially upgraded to Tropical Storm status as the centre brushed passed Grenada.
The Dutch Antilles are next in line and Felix should become a hurricane by the time he reaches Belize.
Everyone seemed to go to sleep on this one and this makes Trinidad and Tobago particularly vulnerable to developing storms coming in from the Atlantic:-
Firstly, because the islands are the first in the line of fire.
Secondly, because the younger storms are very erratic and difficult to track.
Thirdly, because Storms are rarer for T & T, few seem to bother.
We only need remind ourselves of what Hurricane Ivan did to Grenada (with little warning) and more diligence should be used by the weather stations to watch the Tropical Atlantic more closely.
Now that Felix has formed properly, everyone is talking about him.
Having had my moan, I know that Tobago took alot of rain and I have seen reports of flooding in Trinidad. It is still raining quite heavily now but this should clear up during the course of today.
Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:18 pm
FELIX and 98L
Felix is about to reach Hurricane strength and some outer bands of rain are still affecting Tobago from time to time.
Another circulation is developing in the Tropical Atlantic (98L) and should arrive in the Caribbean around Wednesday. This one is on a higher latitude so the chances of this affecting the southern Caribbean are very low at this stage.
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:53 am
HURRICANE FELIX UPDATE
Felix has intensified to Category 2 with 100 mph winds and is being kept to a very rare westward track thanks to strong high pressure to the north.
The only good news from the perspective of the Dutch Antilles (and shortly Aruba) is that the hurricane force wind band is still very small and only extends out up to 20 miles from the centre.
The centre of Felix is passing to the north of these islands and although the winds may only reach tropical storm strength in these areas, there will be copious amounts of rain.
Rain bands in the wake of Felix are still affecting Tobago from time to time.
Looking ahead ... Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize and possibly Mexico should watch Felix ... this hurricane could become the 2nd major hurricane of the season.
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:39 pm
Oh dear ... what did i say?
Felix is now Category 4 and the sat loops show an absolute beauty ... Cat 5 by tomorrow I would say. Never seen such a perfectly formed hurricane and the conditions for development could not be better.
Massive damage and violation ahead for Honduras and Belize ... it's not funny this one ... seriously !!
Wake up please those that reside in those areas!
I really wish the weather people could be prepared to speculate a little more ... if Felix had done his business before he reached the Caribbean it would have brought grave consequences for T & T and the Dutch Antilles.
Luckily the hurricane force winds have been very restricted to about 20 miles from the centre which is why Felix has been little more than a rain event for most ... but these wind bands are now expanding.
Felix will become one of the most devastating storms in history if he visits or even passes to the north of Honduras.
Belize, it's people and it's beautiful coral reefs are in serious danger and those that have resided in their little islands off Belize need to make a move ... get in your boats and sod off for the mainland NOW.
Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:39 am
HURRICANE FELIX UPDATE
As expected, Felix is now Category 5 with sustained winds of 165 mph ... although these winds currently only cover a small area of the storm.
The hurricane force wind band will expand as this deadly hurricane makes progress towards the northern coast of Honduras and makes landfall in Belize.
I expect Felix to intensify even more to become one of the most powerful Hurricanes in history but this does not necessarily mean he will be as strong when he makes landfall or is close to Honduras.
Even so if this track proves reality it could be devastating for Honduras because as long as the eye remains over the warm seawater, Felix should maintain his strength as he churns along most of the coast of Honduras.
The last time this happened it was Hurricane Fifi which became one of the top 5 most deadly (in terms of loss of life) Hurricanes in history ... and Fifi was not that strong ... it was the track she took and her heavy rains that did it for Honduras.
This is a good example of how Hurricanes can be devastating, it is where they go (i.e.; the terrain or population), how they arrive and the timing (i.e.; tides etc). Even Tropical Storms can be as deadly.
The only positive thing I can say is that few Hurricanes maintain Category 5 strength for long as they go through eyewall recycles ... it's a matter of timing as to whether Felix will be Category 4 or 5 ... but I see nothing else ahead of Felix that can weaken him unless in the unlikely event he actually makes landfall in Honduras which would reduce the dire prospects for Belize.
Honduras needs to evacuate it's entire northern coastline.
Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:44 pm
I have forwarded your forecast warnings to my friends Sue and Chris Harris who live near Monkey River town on the Belize coast.
Sue replied to say that they and several friends are evacuating their beach-side house later today to stay in their concrete-built hurricane shelter further inland.
I was on Tobago when Ivan hit in Sept 2004.
That was bad enough!
Stone Haven (Grafton) Bay during the storm
Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Nice to know that my wild theories are taken seriously by someone
There could be some good news but I need a couple more hours to watch this before I am sure..
3 things ...
The eye has closed and Felix has weakened slightly and I cannot yet tell if this is a breakdown (bearing in mind the explosive nature of this storm's development) ... or an eyewall replacement in which case Felix will probably complete this before landfall and possibly be stronger ... the latter being more likely.
The 2nd thing ... still not sure yet ... is that the high pressure to the north of Felix is strong and forcing him into a more westward direction ... this means landfall over Honduras and less contact with the warm sea ... consequently a weaker Hurricane or possibly just Tropical Storm for Belize ... nevertheless still a sizeable rain event. Not sure ... Not sure of the exact track which is crucial in this case !!
Thirdly ... Felix has picked up speed under the high pressure building to the north and this would reduce the amounts of rain that will fall over any area affected.
The third point is very reliable ... the other 2 points are pure speculation.
The outer rain bands of Felix are now about 3 hours off Nicaragua ... It's doing my head in
... so I am going to completely ignore this for an hour ... come back with a fresh attitude and see if I can make sense of this incredibly volatile and unique hurricane within the next 2 hours.
Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:13 pm
Honduras iminent ... what about Belize?
Since my last post Felix has been downgraded to Category 4 which is no surprise considering the virtual disappearance of his eye.
But it was just a wink ... his eye is open again now and he appears to be re-strengthening and the convection in the north-east quadrant is getting stronger.
I have read reports of heavy seas around Jamaica which is miles away from Felix and a worrying account from the crew of the Hurricane Hunter Aircraft that found the turbulence in Felix to be so violent that they had to abandon their mission to measure this Storm.
The dilemma for the forecasters is a matter of 20 miles here or there in the track ... north or south? ... this 20 mile margin of error could make all the difference to Belize.
Honduras is facing a potential catastrophy with violent winds over a 50 or 60 mile wide swathe, a widespread rain event (although not on the scale of Fifi in 1994) and a storm surge along half of the country's coast ... so with that ominous prospect out of the way ... what about Belize?
Felix looks likely to track along at least half of Honduras' coast ... the more inland the better for Belize as this could weaken Felix somewhat ... and I am talking about the eye through which the energy is drawn.
If the eye spends most of it's path over warm seas rather than land then the omens for Belize are bleak as the hurricane will grow stronger even if it appears that half of it is over land.
It's not worth the risk ... the computer models are all over the place and I cannot be certain with such a small and deadly margin of error with a relatively young, unprecedently powerful and unpredictable Hurricane.
I hope the coastal areas of both Honduras and Belize are immediately evacuated if not already.
The next 12 hours will provide the answers by which time it will be too late for Belize to take actions based on certainties ... don't take the risk.
In the meantime ... our thoughts and hopes should be with Honduras tonight.
Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:20 am
FELIX UPDATE - LANDFALL NEXT FEW HOURS
Felix is regaining strength and could be a category 5 Hurricane by the time he makes landfall in the extreme north east of Nicaragua and then tracks across northern Honduras, very close to the north coast.
I have read some encouraging reports of the preparations Honduras is making and, I don't know these areas well, but I understand the area of Nicaragua where landfall is expected is sparsely populated.
This (Category 4 or 5) will will one of the most powerful landfalls ever ... it was all about the timing of the eyewall recycling yesterday.
Felix will be very destructive to anything in his path but now the (only) good news ... he should now weaken considerably as he tracks over Honduras and is unlikely to get his act together again before he affects Belize even though he could still be a Hurricane over Belize.
But don't take my word for it ... this has been a very unpredictable Storm and I have learned alot from it.
Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:33 am
FELIX UPDATE - LANDFALL NORTH EAST NICARAGUA
Landfall in next hour or so as Category 5.
It looks like the coast of Honduras should avoid storm surge.
Prospects are continually improving for Belize as the track has wobbled further south.
The really bad news is that Felix is slowing down and this increases the prospect of a damaging rain event for northern Nicaragua and Honduras and possibly Belize.
A 90 mile wide swathe of devastating Hurricane force winds will affect northern Nicaragua and Honduras.
Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:24 pm
Felix is breaking up over the mountains of Nicaragua and his ragged centre is scooting along the border between Nicaragua and Honduras.
I don't think Felix will survive this terrain but he will remain a significant rain threat, having already set off some spectacular thunderstorms inland over Belize and Mexico.
Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize are in for alot of intense rain over the next 48 hours.